Here's what I learned this year as two of my kids moved from primary to middle schools: You need luck (which comes with a side order of stress) to get a locker.
Today was the first day of a new school year in Israel. 2.35 million pupils are back in classrooms.
Backpacks were at the ready.
Some of the middle school and high school kids carried books that they would put in their lockers. Others carried books that they will, in fact, schlep back and forth from home to school every day. For the entire year.
It turns out, the locker rental companies -- schools hire out third-party companies to take care of the lockers -- don't provide a locker for each student.
I grew up in Canada. When I was at school this third-party locker scheme was not an option. This was a new Israeli experience -- and not one I fully enjoyed. At my daughter's middle school, by the time the school announced that lockers were available to hire for the year -- hardly any lockers were available. And those that were, were bottom row only.
Fortunately for us, her friend's older sister told us a few days before said announcement that the link to rent a locker had been sent to the older grades. She shared it with us.
We succeeded in renting a middle locker -- the top ones were gone by the time we logged on. (We shared the link with everyone we knew... hoping they, too, could get lockers.)
At my son's school, all parents were sent a link on time but were forewarned that there were not enough lockers for everyone. Hence, the side order of stress.
On the day we were allowed to reserve lockers, the server miraculously didn't crash. Though I was kicked off the site numerous times from overflow issues -- yet, finally succeeded in getting a locker after half a dozen tries.
Yesterday, we went to put my son's books in his locker. We admired the blue book storage cabinet like it was a prized possession. It was ours. For the year. Yay! Today, I went to see my daughter's locker.
At the entrance to the school, a teacher asked me why I was escorting my daughter to her class and not letting her show her independence as a seventh grader.
The teacher did not understand. I was not walking my daughter to her class. My daughter was simply showing me where to go. I was going to meet the locker over which I had sweated -- and successfully snagged.